Spanish team keen to expand greenhouse project in Qatar
October 12 2017 10:42 PM
Spanish Ambassador Ignacio Escobar led a cake cutting ceremony to mark Spanish National Day in Doha on Thursday. He was joined by Qatar’s Minister of Culture and Sports HE Salah bin Ghanem bin Nasser al-Ali, HE the Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr Ahmed bin Hassan al-Hammadi, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Chief of Protocol Ibrahim Yousif Abdullah Fakhro. PICTURE: Shemeer Rasheed.

A team of Spanish agriculture experts will visit Doha in the next two weeks to explore the possibility of expanding a successful pilot greenhouse project launched in Qatar in 2011 so as to make it profitable, Spanish Ambassador Ignacio Escobar has said.
The same team had been involved in developing the pilot with Hassad Food and a Spanish joint venture, in a concept applicable to Qatar’s searing temperatures, the envoy told Gulf Times.
“This Spanish joint venture is ready to start working to produce very profitable greenhouses,” he noted. “Not only have they tested this system but also improved it since 2011.”
The team will be coming to Doha for a matchmaking event aimed at helping the country attain self-sufficiency and to further enhance the two countries’ bilateral relations in the field of agriculture.
Escobar said the Spanish experts will also present to Qatari authorities the advanced agri technologies they are using, particularly greenhouses, as compared to competitors from other countries.
“The good thing about this proposal is that it has already been tested,” he stressed.
Spain is known to be one of the largest producers of agricultural products in the world, and supplying more than 50% of these items (fresh vegetables and fruits in particular) to European countries.
Escobar said Spain has reduced its dependency on the climate situation as it continuously produces fresh food products year round, citing that part of their greenhouses are set up in very hot temperatures.
“The most complicated thing about greenhouses in Qatar is not the temperature, but the humidity,” he added.“We have figured this out – a very good system to solve this equation.”
The embassy had seen a lot of interest from the private sector in implementing a huge project to develop a two-hectare land into a sustainable agricultural area.
“We would like to work with both the public and private sectors in Qatar, we want to be involved in this project,” Escobar said.
About Spain’s exports of agricultural food products to Qatar, the envoy noted a huge increase of direct imports, both fresh and processed food, which are available in major supermarkets in the country.
He also disclosed that LuLu Hypermarket will be opening in the coming days a warehouse in Spain.
“They will be gathering food products from Spain and from other European countries, labelling them and exporting them to Qatar and to the rest of the world,” Escobar added.
LuLu, he pointed out, has taken a strategic position of making Spain one of their hubs.

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